Pain management is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and management of pain. Various techniques can be used to treat both acute and chronic pain, and these include injections, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. A personalized plan must be used for treatment to be successful, as what works for one person may not work for another.
Pain is usually the result of injury, disease, and surgery. Anyone suffering from pain can benefit from pain management therapies. Here, we will discuss the different techniques used by doctors for managing pain.
There are many different types of injections that can be used for pain management, the goal of which is to address the pain signals and prevent them from reaching the brain. Some of the most commonly used in injection therapy include:
- Epidural steroid injections: These are injected into the epidural space around the spinal cord and can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Facet joint injections: These are injected into the facet joints, which are small joints in between each vertebra. They can help to relieve pain in this area.
- Trigger point injections: These are injected into areas of muscle that have knots or spasms. They can help to relax the muscles and relieve pain.
- Nerve root blocks can help relieve pain caused by pinched nerves. A nerve root block is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat pain that radiates from the spine. The goal of the procedure is to relieve pain by temporarily numbing the affected nerve.
- Radiofrequency neurotomy: A pain management technique that uses radio waves to heat up and destroy nerve tissue. This can be used to treat pain caused by conditions like arthritis, herniated discs, and facet joint syndrome.
Physical therapists use different techniques to help ease pain, some of which include:
- Dry needling. It involves inserting very thin needles into the skin and muscles to stimulate trigger points or knots that form when muscles are tight or injured. This helps to release muscle tension and relieve pain.
- Myofascial release or soft tissue mobilization. The physical therapist applies gentle, sustained pressure to the myofascial connective tissue to release constrictions and restore the range of motion. This type of massage can be performed manually or with special tools such as foam rollers or tennis balls. The goal of myofascial release is to reduce pain and improve mobility by breaking down scar tissue and adhesions that have formed within the tissues.
- Joint mobilization. It involves moving a joint through its full range of motion. This helps to stretch the surrounding muscles and tissues, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. Joint mobilization can be done manually or with the use of special equipment.
- There are many different exercises that can be used as pain management techniques, including cardio, stretching and strengthening exercises, range-of-motion exercises, and aquatic exercises, all of which help to improve flexibility, and range of motion, and build endurance and muscle strength.
Changes in lifestyle can also help boost the results of pain-relieving therapies and are usually included in a patient’s treatment plan. Finding a pain management plan that works for you is critical, and it is recommended that patients be open with their healthcare team about their pain levels and how the treatments are working.
Pain Management in Baltimore, MD
Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland offers several techniques for pain management, including interventional techniques and physical therapy services, as well as other regenerative medicine therapies that stimulate healing and help alleviate chronic pain. Our orthopedic doctors will create a personalized treatment plan for your unique needs and preferences. To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, use our convenient online appointment request form or call our office today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE.